Archive for ‘The Home Front’

February 9, 2012

Day 9.

Today is day 9 on medication. The first full day on full strength (the doctor had me start at half-strength to try & keep me from getting smacked with side effects). I feel… better. Not great, not amazing, but better. I’m starting to see things I’ve ignored/pushed aside these last few months. I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow, this weekend, next week. Tasks are no longer insurmountable obstacles, but I’m still getting out of the habit of not doing them.

I’m re-learning how to live. & I’m OK with that.

So far, so good.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

– Vivian Greene

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January 23, 2012

Chemistry.

The face of depression isn’t always a sad one.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that no one other than McDreamy could tell you that I am depressed. I’ve even managed to hide it from him for a long time. I managed to hide it from myself for even longer. Probably because my depression doesn’t manifest itself as sadness most of the time. Yes, I get sad, & I cry over stupid things, but mostly, I’m angry. & tired. Oh, so tired.

I don’t remember the last time I wasn’t tired. I’ve tried sleeping more, sleeping less, different mattresses, sleep aids, et cetera, infinity. Nothing helps. I’m always tired, unless I don’t get decent sleep & then, I’m exhausted. Small, easy tasks are insurmountable obstacles because I can’t possibly have the energy to do a load of laundry when it takes everything I have to stay awake & breathe. I want to do things, I just simply can’t.

I’m so forgetful. McDreamy can ask me to do something, & within minutes I’ve forgotten, so it doesn’t get done. I start something & it takes 3 times longer to finish it because I get distracted & forget what I was doing in the first place. I can put something next to my purse so that I “won’t forget it!” & then walk right out without it.

& then there is the anger. Or, THE RAGE as I call it. It bubbles up inside of me so quickly, at the smallest thing. Sometimes, I can squash it back down, but most of the time it takes over before I even realize what is happening. I have zero patience. I feel like a crappy parent to Zola more & more often; her issues make it challenging to do things with her, & my fuse is so short that I avoid playing games or doing crafts with her because OH MY GOD, YOU AREN’T DOING IT RIGHT, & DO I REALLY HAVE TO EXPLAIN THIS AGAIN?!? I know how horrible that sounds, trust me. Which is why I avoid doing things with her that I know will trigger it. There are a lot of times that I just have to walk away. I hate hate hate it. I feel like I’m turning into MY mother, which is the worst possible fate in the universe. I KNOW what it was like growing up with her; I know what it felt like to be her daughter. I don’t want that for Zola, & I don’t want it for any other children we may someday have.

Once you combine all of this together, I feel like the biggest failure on the planet. I can’t keep my house clean, so I fail as a wife. I can’t get pregnant, so I fail as a woman. I can’t be interactive with my daughter, so I fail as a mother. I can’t hold my temper, so I fail as a person. Everything I do is wrong, no matter how hard I try. I want to be a good wife, a good mother, a good person. I try so, so hard. But it isn’t good enough.

It isn’t good enough because my brain chemistry is out of whack. The chemicals in my body are betraying me, every day. They are causing these feelings, this little voice telling me that I’m not worth it. They are causing the bone-crushing exhaustion that envelopes me & keeps me from doing the things I so desperately want to do.

& this sounds like excuses, which is another reason I’ve put off getting help for so long. I (& that little voice) had convinced myself that I was just a lazy, mean bitch. I had convinced myself that this is just how I’m made, that if I really wanted to, I’d get up & do the dishes. If I really wanted to, I could have more patience. That if I wanted to, I could stop being so lazy, so angry, such a failure. That surely, I must be doing something wrong.

Well, I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t getting help. But that’s about to change. Because I’m going to fight chemistry with chemistry, & be the person I’ve dreamed of being.

Bring it on. I’m done being depression’s punching bag.

January 2, 2012

12 Things in 2012

(inspired by Jill over at BabyRabies.com)

This is the year of 2012, & there are 12 months in the year, so here are 12 things to accomplish in 2012.

1. Get fertility testing done. Our insurance covers it (minus co-pay), so there is no *real* reason not to. Plus, if we figure out what is wrong, or what isn’t, we will be one step closer to a baby.

2. Clean out the loft. It is crammed full of stuff that came from my mom’s house & the storage building my dad rented. We have aspirations of lining the wall with bookshelves, & possibly carving out a craft area, but that won’t happen unless I wade through all of the stuff. I’m not even going to make myself get rid of it all, but it has to be gone through – & whatever I am keeping (even if only for the time being) needs to be packed away & stored.

3. Purge my closet & repurpose old t-shirts. I have eleventy-billion old t-shirts that I never wear anymore but can’t bear to throw away. I have them from soccer, dance, band, track, senior year, dorm parties, et cetera, ad naseum. I think the main logo parts of the shirts should be turned into a quilt while other parts can be made into cleaning rags, skirts, headbands, and other things as seen on Pinterest 🙂

4. Get rid of the gigantic entertainment center. It is beautiful, & we’ve enjoyed having it in our living room. But it’s huge. Plus, it has so many shelves crammed with so many knickknacks, it’s a dusting nightmare. I envision the TV mounted on the wall, a cabinet underneath to store gaming consoles & BluRays, & a few strategically placed, sleek, modern shelves with only the most treasured few things displayed.

5. Get outside more often. I hate the cold, & it gets hotter than Hell’s furnace in the summer, but we really need to get out & get active more. We have three high-energy dogs, plus a little girl we need to be teaching good habits to. Neither of us are adverse to outdoor activities, so I don’t know why we don’t take advantage of our area’s nature trails & such more often. We recently ditched our TV provider, which means our options for mindless zombie time are now seriously limited. Hopefully, this will help in our quest to leave the couch for longer than it takes to get another soft drink.

6. Achieve a solid sit, stay, & quiet command with each dog. Oh, they can sit – if you have a treat present or they think you are close enough to inflict bodily harm (not that we do!). They will stay, most of the time… well, at least dogs #1 & 2. Dog #3 is another story. She was the dog we didn’t want, & has so many other issues (medical) that her training kind of slipped by the wayside. & forget about “quiet”. They can’t hear you over their own voices, so it’s a moot point, really. Which is REALLY annoying when you are on the phone & they *think* they hear something outside; surely it is the aliens coming to attack & they must warn you & scare off the intruders. I swear they will drive me to drink if I don’t get some semblance of control.

7. Meet up with my girl(s) at least once a month. We have Zola every other weekend, & I often ride with McDreamy on the weekends he works, but I have every Wednesday off. & really, I can make the time. So, we will coordinate schedules & meet up at least once monthly. For coffee, for lunch, for whatever our schedules & budgets allow. But I will hug their necks & take silly iPhone pictures, & just enjoy seeing their faces. We don’t do it enough. While the internet & social media have made connecting with friends easier, they can’t – & shouldn’t – replace our entire friendships. Yes, it’s easy to text someone between projects at work, but if you can’t find 30 minutes to have a cup of coffee with your best friend? Well, frankly, you don’t deserve them as a friend.

8. Visit my grandpa. It’s been 4 years since I’ve seen him. I talk to him every couple of weeks, but he’s hard of hearing & a lot gets lost in translation. He lives about 10 hours from here, which isn’t insurmountable, but when you factor in time off from work, plus gas (or airfare) & food, it isn’t a cheap trip, either. But, he’s 88 years old. He’s in decent health, but we all know our time on Earth is limited. There are things I need to ask him, things I never got the chance to ask Mom. & he’s my grandpa. It’s important.

9. Finish the “baby” blankets I started… almost a year ago. There are two. I started them just after New Year’s 2010; one for a baby born in May & one in June. They still aren’t done. I had intended them to be baby shower gifts… then newborn gifts… then Christmas gifts. Luckily, they are both (going to be) big enough that it won’t matter they won’t be babies anymore. But I HAVE to finish them. Period.

10. Budget for Christmas 2012. Christmas always sneaks up on us. This year, WalMart brought back layaway, so we went in November & got all of Zola’s gifts, plus our niece’s. Then I went to a local boutique (who also offers layaway) & selected everything for the women in the family. I made a payment to each every payday, & it worked out quite nicely. This was the best Christmas we’ve had, money-wise, because I divided it out & payed every week, religiously. We didn’t go crazy on gifts this year, either. Zola got 5 or 6 things from us, & everyone else got $20-30 worth of presents. We didn’t put anything on credit this year, which was a HUGE difference from last year. This year, I’d like to put aside money each month in preparation for Christmas shopping. We KNOW Christmas will be December 25, 2012, so why not plan for it?! What a novel concept, I know.

11. Finish putting the kitchen decor together. It’s painted. That’s about it. I have this vision in my head of what I want it to look like. There is some sewing that needs to be done, some crafting, some carpentry by the ever-handy McDreamy, & some switching of the art. I’d also like new hand towels, rugs, & pot holders. It’s not new cabinets & countertops (someday!), but it will go a long way towards making the house look more finished, & making me happy 🙂

12. Visit the farmer’s market & actually use the produce bought there. I LOVE farmer’s markets. Pretty much everything about them, really. The produce, the crafts, the people. I love that buying from a farmer’s market puts money directly in the farmer’s pocket, supports sustainable farming practices, & nets you a wholesome, often-organic bag of produce for less than what you’ll pay at the grocery store. I’m a farmer’s daughter, so I know a thing or two about fresh-from-the-garden produce. But I am ashamed to admit that I am guilty of a produce sin; more than one lovingly grown-and-harvested vegetable has met its demise in the cold confines of my produce drawer. Having carefully selected it from the tailgate of a truck, I took it home fully intending to make a gourmet meal with it as the star, only to be distracted by something prepackaged & laden with artificial colors & preservatives. So it languished in the drawer of the refrigerator only to be thrown away, it’s yummy potential squashed (ha!) by my forgetfulness & unintentional shunning. So this year, I will visit the farmer’s market again, but this time – oh, this time – I will NOT allow good produce to go to waste.

What are your 12 things in 2012? (It’s harder than it seems!) Head over to BabyRabies to read other’s lists & link up your own!

November 22, 2011

Infertility.

McDreamy & I had a talk this weekend. He wanted to know where we are, TTC-wise. His exact words were, “I just need to know where we are. We used to talk about it, but we aren’t talking about it anymore. If we know we need help, why aren’t we getting it? This is me, wanting a baby.”

I cried.

I have a lot of excuses as to why I haven’t gone back to the RE yet. Want to hear them? Ok, you talked me into it.

1) Because I don’t always ovulate, we haven’t had as many chances as other couples. We just need more chances.

2) The RE wants to do 3 cycles of meds + timed intercourse before pursuing testing. His reasoning is the same as excuse #1. We are OOP for all treatment, BUT testing is covered, so I’d really prefer to do testing first.

3) I don’t want to have to take off work to have testing done (because some of it has to be done on specific days of my cycle, which obviously can’t be scheduled).

4) I don’t want to have to take off work to have ultrasounds, etc. during treatment.

(Side note: neither of these work excuses are because of money/time lost. They are because we are an extremely small operation & I obviously have an inflated sense of my irreplaceability)

5) Maybe there is some cosmic reason I haven’t gotten pregnant yet. (Yes, I hate this excuse, too)

6) I don’t want to admit that I can’t do this. That I need help. Yet one more thing I suck at (this excuse usually surfaces during one of my less-productive mood cycles, when dishes are stacked in the sink & the laundry has taken over the couch).

7) We are OOP for all treatments. It is a lot of money for even the chance at a baby. There are no guarantees. There are so many other things we could spend the money on, if only I can get pregnant on my own (well, I need McDreamy, but you know what I mean).

But really, the biggest reason, I think:

8 ) I will be officially labelled as infertile. Probably to likely unable to conceive without medical help. Maybe just plain unable to conceive.

I’ve known for a while that I have infertility. I’ve talked about it before. But really, until it’s written on a medical chart? I can pretend it’s only a possibility. I can refer to excuse #1, without being labelled “in denial”.

Have you ever heard of “borrowing trouble”? Until that word is written on my chart, I can convince myself that I am borrowing trouble, succumbing to my attention-whoring ways. I have no right to get angry when people say, “Just relax!” The sting I feel when people ask when we are going to have kids isn’t real, I’m just being sensitive.

But here we are, 18 months into this whole baby-making thing. With no baby to show for it. Not even a line on a test. I remember when I first started posting on the baby board I frequent, I met ladies that had been trying for 2+ years. I couldn’t imagine being in their shoes. I couldn’t imagine trying, month after month, for that long. I couldn’t imagine the pain, the disappointment at seeing red at the end of every cycle. Seeing negative after negative test. But always hoping.

We are quickly hurtling towards the 2-year mark. I’ve been on the board for almost 3 years now, & it is strange to me to think that some newbie may look at my signature & think, “Wow, I can’t imagine trying for that long.” 15 cycles have come & gone. I’ve stared at countless negative tests, willing a second line to show up. I’ve overanalyzed symptoms, convinced myself that THIS month, things will be different.

Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted. – Winston Churchill

I think I’m ready to change it.

November 7, 2011

Well, that explains a lot.

A couple of weeks ago, I was going through a stack of papers my mom saved from when I was in 6th grade. I found a short essay I wrote entitled “If I Had Three Wishes”. Here it is, in all of it’s glory (spelling & grammar mistakes intact).

“If I had three wishes, they would be…”

My first wish would be for [name omitted] to be my sister. We are just like sisters. We fight like sisters, we talk like sisters & even my mom says we look somewhat like sisters.

My second wish would be to be more responcable. I would think of things helpful to do on my own so Mom wouldn’t yell so much.

My third and most important wish would be to keep my grades up & go to vet school. Then I could give kids discounts so they could get their animals shots & other things cheaper. Especially animals that were rescued from shelters & pounds.

First, I would like to point out that even at the tender age of 11, I didn’t write out “and”. I wasn’t using ampersands (but who actually writes an ampersand, anyway?) but I was using the little + sign instead of writing out the word.

But what this post is really about is the bolded portion. I wanted to be more responsible so that Mom wouldn’t yell so much. I was given three wishes – I assume we were told they could be anything we wanted (except additional wishes), & I chose this. As an 11-year-old girl, I used 1/3 of my wishes on a trait that should be learned, fostered, & nurtured.

I didn’t wish for chocolate milkshakes for breakfast, or a pink bike for my birthday. I didn’t wish for new shoes, or to wear makeup like the older girls. I didn’t wish for the newest, coolest CD, or the latest & greatest jeans that were surely all the rage.

It makes me sad.

September 17, 2011

Struggling.

Having recently started cycle 14 (& halfway through month 16), I’m struggling. With not being pregnant, but also where to go from here.

McDreamy & I are pretty firm believers that everything happens for a reason. There have been MANY times that we’ve been disappointed only for things to work out much better than we could have ever planned later on down the road. In planning things or trying to accomplish a large task, if things aren’t going right, we stop & reevaluate. Maybe it isn’t the right time to be trying to buy a car, or maybe this isn’t the car for us – that sort of thing.

So now there is this internal battle raging. I’m not pregnant yet, but maybe it’s because we aren’t ready in some shape or form. It just isn’t the right time for us. We are in a pretty good position right now, but maybe we’ll be doing even better 6 months from now. On the other hand, maybe I do just need medical help to get pregnant. I got into see the RE very quickly, the appointment went well, so there is nothing (at this point) that says that isn’t a good option.

In the middle of all this is the fact that I know sometimes, shitty things happen for no reason. I’ve seen it too many times to count. It drives me crazy when people say “It happened for a reason” after someone has a miscarriage, or their baby dies, or their mom is killed in a car accident. It’s what people say when they are trying to comfort the grieving, & it sucks. I don’t believe in God in the Christian sense, so I don’t think that “God has a hand in everything” or what have you.

But I do know that for us, when things aren’t working out like we want them to, there is *usually* a really good reason. Case in point: we tried to buy a house after about a year of marriage. We had loan issues – their were some liens on McDreamy’s credit from his previous marriage, our credit scores weren’t great, & then our broker went on vacation in the middle of everything & handed us off to someone who had NO CLUE. It was a disaster, & we finally just gave up. We waited a year (& worked hard on our credit) before we tried again. We ended up with an AWESOME realtor, found our house pretty quickly, & sailed through the loan process. The house we ended up with is 1,000,000 times better than the original house. Now logically, I know that we didn’t get the first house because of real, concrete problems. But that is just one of many instances where things have sorted themselves out way better than we ever could have.

Logically, I know I should make an appointment for my CD3 blood work, & we should be looking at starting our first medicated cycle. But my heart just isn’t there yet. Maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me that likes to come out to play every once in a while. Or maybe I’m just not ready to admit that I can’t get pregnant on my own. Either way, I think we are going to wait until after the first of the year. Get through birthdays, our anniversary, & holidays (especially Christmas). If I’m not pregnant by then, I’ll re-evaluate.

I really hope I’m pregnant by then.

September 2, 2011

Remember.

A week from this Sunday marks ten years since one of the greatest American tragedies in recent history.

For me, it started long before that.

February 26, 1993.

When I was a child, I participated in beauty pageants. In 1992, I had won the All-Star Kids pageant. As reigning queen in my age division, it was my “duty” to return & pass my crown on to the next year’s winner. The ’93 pageant was being held at the Marriot World Trade Center hotel.

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June 29, 2011

Pinnochio.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

I wish I were the type of person who gets up in the morning, eats breakfast, drinks a cup of coffee, surfsFacebook, & still has time to shower, blow dry my hair, put on makeup, & arrive at my destination no less than 10 minutes early.

I wish I were the type of person who washes every dish as it is dirtied, always has an empty laundry hamper, & never has dust bunnies under the bed (or under the coffee table, as it were).

I wish I were the type of person who prepares a delicious, home cooked meal every night, incorporating fresh, homegrown (or locally purchased) organic veggies. & who lovingly makes tomorrow’s lunch for each family member.

I wish I were the type of person who knows where every important paper & receipt is (filed, of course), without having to search through a stack the size of Mount Rushmore.

I wish I were a lot of things.

But I’m not.

May 18, 2011

Focus.

I’ve been meaning to update Ye Olde Blog for several weeks now. I’ve got several posts simmering on back burners right now, but haven’t really had the passion to write them down.

So, an update. McDreamy finished his field training, meaning he is now working the night shift. Alone. Well, not totally alone, there are other guys on his shift, but alone as in, only one in the car. Like, backup might be miles away alone.

I’m a complete contradiction over this. On one hand, he is GOOD at what he does. I trust him to make good judgement calls & come home safe at the end of his shift. I don’t really mind being home alone, other than the fact that I sometimes often lose track of time & end up not going to bed until 1am. Mainly because I get sucked into the vast expanses of The Internets & before I know it, it’s late (10:32pm) & I still have dishes to do & laundry to wash (because I have NO scrubs to wear to work tomorrow) & there are so many dust bunnies I need to sweep up that I’m afraid they are plotting world domination starting with my house, & before long, we will all be subservient to the dust bunny war lords & it will be all my fault.

On the other hand, he is ALONE. In the dark. Checking buildings when alarms go off, stopping (potentially) drunk people for swerving, going to houses on domestic calls. Now, typically, there is an officer to assist in the first & last scenarios, but still. He straps on his bullet-proof vest on work nights & drives away into the impending darkness. My husband has to wear a bullet-proof vest to work. ::deep breath:: & because he’s gone, the dogs are on high alert ALL.NIGHT.LONG. The slightest noise sets them off into the Apocalyptic Death Nell. It is ridiculous. They were like this when he was in the academy, too. But then, he would come home in a couple of hours. Now, he isn’t home until morning. Which means I usually get at least one rude awakening that has me reaching for my gun because OMG THERE MIGHT BE AN INTRUDER THIS TIME FOR REAL. It’s quite nerve-racking.

In uterus news (are you listening, GOP Uterus Police?!), I had my appointment with the RE today. We discussed my long, sometimes anovulatory cycles. He feels that I probably have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). He recommended 3 treatment cycles with a medication to help ovulation. If I haven’t gotten pregnant by the end of the third cycle, we’ll pursue testing to see if there is a secondary reason. He feels that, baring any other issues, I may have just not had enough true opportunities to get pregnant due to my lack of ovulation.

He gave me the choice of the standby Clomid, or a drug called anastrazole. They work differently, but achieve the same effect. Clomid is an anti-estrogen drug; it binds the estrogen receptors, effectively stopping the effects of estrogen – which signals your pituitary gland to produce more Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) & Lutenizing Hormone (LH). FSH & LH are the two hormones primarily responsible for follicle growth/eventual ovulation. The side effects are mainly due to the estrogen-blocking effects – vaginal dryness, mood swings, thickened cervical mucous, thin uterine lining. Clomid has been approved by the FDA for treating infertility caused by anovulation.

Anastrazole is actually a breast cancer drug. It is used to prevent breast cancer in high-risk women, because it is an estrogen suppressant (most breast cancers are estrogen-driven). Instead of completely blocking estrogen like Clomid does, it lowers the overall level of estrogen. The level is low enough to still cause a stimulation of FSH & LH, but without completely shutting down the other functions of estrogen – mood regulation, thinning of cervical mucous, thickening of the uterine lining. Using it to help with ovulation is off-label (which I’m okay with).

I’ve chosen the anastrazole to start with. But, because we are out-of-pocket for all treatment expenses, it will probably be a few months before we start our first treatment cycle. I still need to go in for blood work on day 3 of my next period (obviously if I’m not pregnant this cycle) to measure FSH, LH, A1C, lipids, prolactin, etc. The doctor is also going to write a letter of medical necessity to my insurance company to see if they will cover a test for Fragile X (which is a gene linked to mental retardation & autism – my maternal half-brother is severely autistic). Luckily, my CD3 blood work & baseline ultrasound will be covered as diagnostic, so that helps. But a cycle will still run us between $200 – $400, depending on how well I respond & whether I need additional drugs/blood work/ultrasounds. We could probably swing the $200 next month, but not $400. We’ll have to save up for that.

This month has been absolutely crazy. McDreamy started nightshift, Christina is getting married, we had massive storms & tornados all across the region (& in our figurative back yard – lets say  I’m very lucky to still have a job to go to). So, I am on a self-imposed charting break this month – that is to say I have no effing clue where I am in my cycle. IF I ovulated “normally”, I should be starting my period (or be getting a positive test) in the next day or two. If not, who knows? I’ve decided I won’t test until Saturday morning, & that is only because Christina’s wedding is Saturday & I shouldn’t drink if I am in fact knocked up 🙂 The doctor pulled a progesterone test today to try & confirm whether I have ovulated or not, so that should help.

& now that I am quickly approaching 1,000 words (this is what happens when I slack off & don’t update often enough!) I will bid you adieu, before your head explodes from the wordiness of it all.

P.S. Could you please pray/light a candle/meditate/whatever you do for me? I’d really like to see a second line on Saturday so I don’t have to shell out wads of cash to get a chance at a baby. Thanks.

April 10, 2011

Scattered.

I’ve had so many post ideas in the past 2 weeks, & now, I can’t think of one. Good grief.

Things have been mostly good around here. I’m pretty sure I’m 7 DPO (days past ovulation) & we had excellent timing this month. Of course, we’ve had excellent timing before & it didn’t mean squat. But, I’m my usual optimistic self, counting down the days until I start testing (T -4 days). I even went so far as to calculate my estimated due date – Christmas.

This also means that on our one-year TTC anniversary, I’ll either be 6 weeks knocked up, or I’ll be seeing my midwife for my yearly check-up & to discuss a referral to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist). I’d prefer the former, obviously.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking more & more about home birth. We live a good 30 minutes from the nearest (competent) hospital, which means that I’ve always discounted home birth as not an option for us. I just wasn’t comfortable being that far away. But a couple of weeks ago, I dragged Christina with me to a doula meet-n-greet at a local baby store. I met a doula who lives in the town near me (which is farther from the hospital). She teaches Bradley classes, which I plan on taking once we are officially expecting, but she also said she had birthed at home with a midwife. This intrigues me, & I plan on sending her an email to find out which midwife she used. I’m also comforted by the fact that McDreamy could conjure up a police escort if need be 🙂 Maybe a home birth isn’t out-of-reach. Now if only I can convince McDreamy!

I’m definitely going to have to start writing my post ideas down. I know I want to do a “Home Tour” post sometime soon, with pictures of the things that make our house a home. Maybe I’ll go get the camera & start taking pictures.